Smart communities, somewhere between smart homes and smart cities.

According to the book Smart Cities: Governing, Modelling and Analysing the Transition, there seems to be a rush among major urban areas in the world to follow the pattern set by places like Vancouver, Kyoto, San Francisco or Amsterdam. The tag “Smart City” appears to be used and abused by an increasing number of population centres nowadays.

Which begs the question: if you don’t live in a Smart City, do you live in a Dumb City?

Does your residential community use software?

Letterboxes full of junk mail. Important notifications going missing. How do I tell my neighbour that his dog is digging holes in our gardens? Endless general meetings, but very little progress.

Does your residential community use software to tackle these problems?

There is no shortage of options available in the market. Free or premium; for professional administrators, but also for communities that wish to self-manage their affairs.

Residential communities: grassroots governance

It can be a lonely, unrewarded and difficult journey for the president of a residential community.

Plenty of after-hours work, disgruntled property owners, loads of paperwork, and recurring trips to the bank.

It is remarkable that with so many different types of residential communities in different parts of the world, all arrangements seem to rely on one owner to handle the community’s affairs: the community association president.

Smart energy meters being introduced by Endesa

There have been a few new EU directives brought into effect regarding saving energy (Directive 2006/32/EC and Directive 2009/72/EC and most recently Orden ITC/3860/2007. The Spanish supplier of electricity Endesa has sent letters to their clients to inform them that in order to comply with these regulations they  will be putting in smart electricity meters which will allow homeowners to see where their energy is being used and help them to be proactive in reducing consumption.

The meter will also include a mains isolator which will trip a fuse if there is a power surge or similar, protecting equipment and homeowners. This will be installed with the new meter and activated immediately.

The process of changing the meters will take place over the next quarter and the good news is that because the meter is on the outside of the property there’s no need for you to be there. However, if the meter is located within the urbanization and access is required, then Endesa will contact the owner or the community president to arrange a convenient time.

Once the meter has been replaced you will receive a letter from them to confirm that it has been done and informing you that you can access the meter to learn more about how you are using your energy. This letter will include information on how to read the meter and of course, we’ll let you know what that says as soon as we receive it.

The installation of the new meter is free of charge but there is a monthly cost of hire of the equipment as before of 0.81 Euros a month which is simply added to your bill.

One big advantage of these new meters is that in the future bills will be based on monthly readings and will remove the normally inaccurate estimations which can cause you to be charged for more than you actually use.

If you need more information the Endesa website has good information about it, but in Spanish of course. Please feel free to ask us any questions and we’ll do our best to help.

In our next post we will be giving you tips for saving energy and the price rises which are on their way. Please communicate this important news with your community via a notice board, email or community website so they can understand the changes and save energy.